Just as I was getting over the New England Patriots’ losing the Super Bowl. To the New York Giants. Again.
Jet Blue Park, the brand spanking new spring training home of my favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox (like my colleague Posie Wilkinson, I too am a Boston girl) opened to visits from the public on Saturday. It will officially open for the BoSox’s first exhibition game of the 2012 season at the end of this week. While on the outside, the stadium looks modern and artsy, the ballpark inside is as authentic a recreation of Fenway Park as one could possibly imagine. It has all the same field dimensions, it has the same scoreboard, it even has its very own – you guessed it – Green Monstah.
What it doesn’t have, however, is the JetBluePark.com domain name.
According to NESN, some Cubs fan named Eric Engelman went out and registered the domain and redirected it to the official site of…the New York Yankees. Of all the teams in the whole league, it had to be the Yankees.
No word yet on what this joker Engelman plans to do with the domain name. But I’m willing to bet he won’t be redirecting it to a Cubs World Series Championship site anytime soon.
Domain name or no, at least we broke our curse.
It may only be mid-February, but spring is here for baseball fans. Spring Training, that is, which kicks off this week in Florida and Arizona.
The start of Spring Training got me thinking about baseball players and whether they or their agents own their names as domains in .COM. I consulted Sports Pundit for the list of the top ten highest paid players in 2010 (not surprisingly, the top four all play for the Yankees). They are, from highest salary, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Johan Santana, Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Howard, Carlos Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano. Then, I ran a check on all their corresponding .COM domain names: AlexRodriguez.com, CCSabathia.com, etc.
As it turns out, only two of these domains – DerekJeter.com and JohanSantana.com – point to the players’ official websites. In both cases, the players’ representatives (a talent agency and a law firm, respectively) registered the domains, which is understandable; who has time to think about domain names when they’re busy winning the Golden Glove?
But among the other eight players, almost every domain name is squatted. Most are registered by a third party and used to host parked or pay-per-click sites. AlfonsoSoriano.com is a prime example. Moreover, in almost every case, the domain was registered after the players began playing in the Major League, and therefore were already public figures.
The one exception in this set is MiguelCabrera.com, which belongs to a New York realtor who has the same name as the Detroit Tigers’ first baseman. Miguel Cabrera the realtor has owned the domain name since 2000, three years before Miguel Cabrera the baseball player made his Major League debut with the Florida Marlins.
I was surprised to learn that ever Alex Rodriguez, the highest paid player in the MLB, not to mention one of the most famous, does not own AlexRodriguez.com Fortunately, though, ARod.com redirects to his official page on MLB.com.
The best usage of a domain name by a pro baseball player that I’ve seen is by Albert Pujols. Pujols will likely be among the highest players in the MLB next season. He owns AlbertPujols.com and directs it to the website of his charitable foundation at http://www.pujolsfamilyfoundation.org/. Even better than monetizing your personal brand is using it to give back.